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Obama shows his support for National Arts and Humanities Month

October 4, 2010 |  9:56 am

Obama

It's October and that means cultural institutions around the country will be celebrating National Arts and Humanities Month.

President Obama officially kicked off the event by issuing a proclamation in which he stated that "American artists, historians, and philosophers have helped enable us to find our common humanity."

The first family has shown its support for the arts and culture in recent months by hosting regular events at the White House to showcase classical music, theater, dance and more.

In the proclamation, the president also credited the arts for helping to fuel the economy. "Across our country, men and women in the non-profit and for-profit arts industries bring arts and cultural activities to our communities, contributing tens of billions of dollars to our economy each year," he said.

National Arts and Humanities Month is organized by Americans for the Arts, a nonprofit advocacy organization devoted to promoting the arts around the country. This year, the organization is holding an online video contest, in conjunction with its 50th anniversary, in which people are invited to submit their own brief videos explaining how the arts have changed their lives. The winner(s) will be announced Oct. 12.

Keep reading for Obama's full proclamation on National Arts and Humanities Month.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
 
A PROCLAMATION
 
Throughout history, the arts and humanities have helped men and women around the globe grapple with the most challenging questions and come to know the most basic truths.  In our increasingly interconnected world, the arts play an important role in both shaping the character that defines us and reminding us of our shared humanity.  This month, we celebrate our Nation's arts and humanities, and we recommit to ensuring all Americans can access and experience them.
 
Our strength as a Nation has always come from our ability to recognize ourselves in each other, and American artists, historians, and philosophers have helped enable us to find our common humanity.  Through powerful scenes on pages, canvases, and stages, the arts have spurred our imaginations, lifted
our hearts, and united us all without regard to belief or background.

The arts and humanities have also helped fuel our economy as well as our souls.  Across our country, men and women in the non-profit and for-profit arts industries bring arts and cultural activities to our communities, contributing tens of billions of dollars to our economy each year.  Today, arts workers are revitalizing neighborhoods, attracting new visitors, and fostering growth in places that have gone too long without it.
 
As we work to bring the power of the arts and humanities to all Americans, my Administration remains committed to providing our children with an education that inspires as it informs.  Exposing our students to disciplines in music, dance, drama, design, writing, and fine art is an important part of that mission.  To promote arts education and pay tribute to America's vibrant culture, First Lady Michelle Obama and I have been proud to host a White House Music Series, Dance Series, and Poetry Jam.  We have been honored to bring students, workshops, and performers to "the People's House;" to highlight jazz, country, Latin, and classical music; and to invite Americans to listen to the music of the civil rights movement, hip-hop, and Broadway.
 
By supporting the fields that feed our imagination, strengthen our children's education, and contribute to our economy, our country will remain a center of creativity and innovation, and our society will stand as one where dreams can be realized.  As we reflect on the contributions of America's artists, we look forward to hearing their tales still untold, their perspectives still unexplored, and their songs still unwritten.  May they continue to shed light on trials and triumphs of the human spirit, and may their work help ensure that our children's horizons are ever brighter.
 
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 2010 as National Arts and Humanities Month.  I call upon the people of the United States to join together in observing this month with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs to celebrate the arts and the humanities in America.
 
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the
two hundred and thirty-fifth.
 
BARACK OBAMA

-- David Ng

Photo: President Obama. Credit: Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA

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